changeyourstars8: (Bellatrix)
Figured it was going to happen sooner or later. Had a customer comment on the baby-- just the usual stuff at first, asking when I'm due, if it's my first one, etc. Used to that now that I'm showing. Then she makes a sharp turn off the highway of normalcy onto the narrow dirt road of TMI and asks if I'm planning to breastfeed or bottlefeed.

Me-- o_0

I stared at her for a few seconds and then I said that I didn't know yet, which was a lie, but I can count the number of people I'm willing to discuss issues like that with on one hand, and given that I didn't even know this woman's first name . . . yeah.

And then yesterday I'm driving home from work and I see a car that was in our neighbor's driveway pull into ours. I pull in beside, thinking that someone's lost/looking for an address. Then two women in their fifties get out of the car, and they're both holding Bibles.

Oops.

Though actually, it turned out okay. They were Jehovah's Witnesses, and perfectly polite, and the pamphlets they handed me didn't have anything incredibly offensive in them. It was actually cute, because one lady asked me if I went to a specific church around here, and I told her that I didn't because I'm agnostic. And she just tilts her head at me and blinks and then says, "I'm . . . I'm sorry dear, but I have no idea what that is."

So I explained, and we chatted for a few minutes before I excused myself to get Harley some food, since he was staring up at me with that unmistakable "You have one minute to fill the bowl, human, and then it's time to attack your ankles" look.
changeyourstars8: (Far Away)
Got a friend request on Myspace from an atheist group. (I haven't made any posts about religion there, so I assume they found me due to my clicking the 'agnostic' option on the profile sidebar)

Looked around the site a bit and decided not to join . . . for one, I'm an agnostic, not an atheist, which means I have no idea one way or the other and I hope I don't find out for quite some time. After all, I still have books to write, a family to worry, and a child to corrupt soon. ;-)

Also, they have in their info stuff about 'promoting atheism in the community' and 'providing people with the information and guidance they need to choose atheism and live healthy, God-free lives' and that kindof makes me twitchy.

Not that I don't understand the need to get information out there about how people who don't believe in God are not evil subhuman freaks. And keep in mind my perspective on this partly comes from growing up in the Bible Belt, specifically in an area where you can't drive 200 feet on the highway without encountering a "Choose God or BURN" type of sign. Though thankfully, I've only seen that particular quote once. Most of them are along the lines of 'Smile! Your mom chose life!' which are equally eyeroll-worthy to me, but for slightly different reasons. Anyway. . .

Letting people know that "hey, I'm an atheist and no, I haven't kicked any puppies today" is one thing. Giving people info specifically to help them choose atheism is something else entirely. It reminds me too much of the people who'll knock on your door at some way-too-early hour and try to convince you to go to their church. One's trying to get you to believe in their version of God, the other hopes you'll choose not to believe at all, and once it gets to that point what's the difference?

I've always thought of faith as a private thing, something between you and what you believe in (which is partly why people pushing for laws that affect everyone based on their religious beliefs never fail to make me snarly). And while I've had plenty of religious discussions with my friends and family, they've never tried to convince me to become a Christian and I've never tried to convince them that they should switch to agnosticism.

Hopefully I'm making sense, because it's before noon and therefore too early for me to be up, but it basically boils down to "Here's what I think and why" and "Here's what you should think and why" being two completely different approaches.
changeyourstars8: (Zoe--  Gunslinger)
Ew.

Chris just answered the door and talked to someone outside for a moment; I asked who it was and he said it was a lady handing out religious pamphlets. I was immediately wary, but told myself to be nice and give it a chance, so I picked it up and started reading. It began with stuff about 'do you wonder why there are religious wars, etc., why so many awful things happen in the name of religion? The problem is not faith, but false religion, people twisting the words' and going on with the 'bad tree yielding poison fruit' quote.

Me: "Hey, this might actually make some sense. They're talking about the problem not being with faith itself, but individuals misinterpreting things, etc." *reads quotes*
Chris: "Glad to hear that."

And then it went on to say that one problem with false religions was that they accepted gay and lesbian clergy members, and some even advocated same-sex marriage.

Me: "Oh for God's sake." *crumples pamphlet* "It switches to homophobia three sentences later. Where'd that lady go? I'm going to throw this at her head. Or shove it up her left nostril."
Chris: "She was in her fifties. It wouldn't be a fair fight."
Me: "Left. Nostril."
Chris: "What would the neighbors say?"
Me: "'Can we charge admission?'"
Chris: *laughs*
Me: "She's just lucky I didn't answer the door. I would've seen that crud and told her, 'Actually, I'm a lesbian atheist, but thanks for trying'."
Chris: "Hm. I think I will let you answer the door next time."
Me: "Perfect."

I probably should just throw anything like that away unread. I've told myself that not all churches are like that and I don't want to lump all of them into one category, but I've gotten too many handouts along this line (or, for added fun, ranting about how evil agnostics/atheists are. Yeah, thanks, that's going to convince me) and I'm tired of it. :-(

On the non-vexing side of life, LOST yesterday was just really hot perfect. And I know I'm not alone in wishing Nathan Fillion's character would show up on the island. I don't care how; the writers have already done 20,000 weird things, they can find an explanation.

Now, off to get some writing done.
changeyourstars8: (Stace by Warsheep Productions)
This is a neat idea.

And this time I can blame [livejournal.com profile] awritersfantasy for my utter lack of productivity today. ;-) Go here to make some of your own.




Me



Stace



Reeza
changeyourstars8: (Default)
I haven't read The DaVinci Code-- not really my cup of tea-- and I wasn't intending to see the movie, either.

But then people started protesting and complaining about it (which always gets me curious). Some of those complaints are less about the conspiracy plot points and more about the very idea of Christ being married.

Now complaints in terms of, "The Bible was open about the rest of his family, so why wouldn't it mention a wife if there was one?" make sense to me. But some I've seen, and some I've actually heard in person before, feature the 'ewwww, our Savior never would've sullied himself by going near a woman! Original sin, harlots, etc. and etc.' argument.

Me: "Uhhh, you do realize the person you're saying all this to is female, right?"
Him: *blank stare*
Me: "Never mind. You're clearly too stupid to see my point. Let the ass-kicking commence."

Okay, so that's not how the conversations actually went, but I can dream.

Anyway, I liked Tom Hanks' take on the whole thing, when he was asked if he thought Christ was married-- "I don't know. I wasn't around." ;-) Myself, I don't have a problem with the theory . . . I mean, going from the idea that he was at least partly mortal while he was here, why wouldn't it be a possibility? Given other things the Bible teaches, I can definitely see where people'd get upset at the idea of Christ having an affair with Mary Magdalene, but marriage? Not so much.

So while it's not going to be a go-to-the-theater movie, I will check out the rental. Which I'd probably do even without the 'what's all the fuss about' factor, because Ian McKellen is utterly awesome. :-)
changeyourstars8: (Default)
My friend got a phone call at work about the TV show coming out, "The Book of Daniel". Which I hadn't heard much about before she started talking to me about it, but now I'm almost tempted to start watching it.

Anyway, the guy was complaining that the show was demoralizing to our Christian society. My friend told him the usual spiel, that she couldn't do anything about it, and he needed to contact NBC Viewer Relations, and she gave him the number, and he replied by telling her, "You're going to burn in hell, you know that?"

And she said, "Excuse me? You have absolutely no right to tell me what's going to happen to me after I die." She didn't yell at him, cuss at him, or figure out a way to murder him over the phone. I'm proud. :-)
changeyourstars8: (Default)
Okay, I'm about to get hostile, and the entry does have to do with religion, so anyone who doesn't want to read that, skip. Thanks. :-)

Disclaimer over...

So I'm unpacking stuff, and when I'm going through stuff that Chris had in his side of the desk I find a little church pamphlet titled "How Can I Know Who to Marry?" Being curious, I decided to flip through it.

When, oh when, am I going to learn?

One of the first things they go through is this--

"Choose a Believer

Oil and water do not mix. A mouse and a boa constrictor would not make the best of friends. A person with a paralyzing fear of heights would not be a wise choice as a climbing partner to scale the slopes of Mount Everest. ... And a follower of Christ would not make a good marriage match with a nonbeliever. Nothing should be more important to you or to the person you marry than your spiritual well-being. Plenty can go wrong if you don't marry someone who's your spiritual equal. If you could talk to Moses or to King Solomon, they could tell you of the dangers to both the family and to the community of believers. ... A believer who marries an unbeliever may be facing a lifetime of spiritual unrest in the marriage and a battle for the spiritual well-being of their children."

Now, fortunately I know that Chris has not cleaned this desk drawer in years, and the guy is a packrat who saves everything anybody sends to him, and we had a discussion about this very issue before we got married and I know that he loves me despite my heathen ways, so no problems between us on that count.

But I had and unfortunately still have insecurities about marrying someone of a different faith precisely because of this stupid crap. 'Oh, you don't believe the exact same thing! You bad, bad person. You're just going to drag him down, you do know that, right? You're bad for his spiritual well-being, which is the most important thing in life!'

I just want to swat these people with a big piece of cardboard that has "I am not a 'danger' to my husband and family and future children just because I'm an agnostic" written on it.

I'm just grateful to whatever's up there that while my close family and friends believe differently than I do, that's not a huge issue to them and they love me anyway.

I'd say it's good for your 'spiritual well-being' to marry someone who loves, understands, and supports you, who's willing to compromise, and who won't drop you like a hot potato because you've answered the incredibly complicated issue of religion in a different way than they have, but hey, what do I know. I'm a "today's Canaanite".
changeyourstars8: (Default)
So apparently some parents in Rhode Island are worried that their high-schoolers shouldn't go on a class trip to see RENT. They might not be able to deal with the "in-your-face glorification of homosexuality and lesbianism." (quote from Focus on the Family)

Please. I became a fan of the musical (and the Broadway version is quite a bit raunchier than the movie) when I was fourteen or fifteen. Of course, I doubt that Dobson and his ilk would look at me and see anything good, so. . .

Anyway, I could get into a huge rant about how Christianity is supposed to be about loving your neighbor and being kind to people, etc. and etc., rather than finding a new 'oh my goodness see look the gay people are everywhere eeeeeeek' target every other day, but I'd rather just post this:

Jesus Bans 'Christian' Group Focus on the Family

When the news reached Focus on the Family's Colorado Springs headquarters, stunned members were seen running into walls and bashing their foreheads with large Bibles and ramming their Toyota Corollas and Ford pickups into each other and muttering incoherent lines from "Passion of the Christ" and popping Prozac like M&M's.
changeyourstars8: (Default)
Okay, this is probably going to be absolutely weird and rambling, but I've thought it through and it's been a long time coming and I figured I'd put it out here.

I went to church when I was younger. Wesley United Methodist. I was too young to really understand any of it, and most of the learning was centered on, "Hey, if I can memorize this verse I get to go along on the trip to the lake." After I got older, I had no interest in going, and I was an agnostic for a while.

Then I started dating Chris, and I basically went to his (and his family's, and my family's for the most part) religion, Christianity. Started reading the Bible (still haven't gotten through it yet, though hopes are high), went to church once, etc.

But I'm really not sure that I'm cut out for this.

Read more... )
changeyourstars8: (Default)
Ah, Kansas. If I had the money I'd be in Australia. Or at least Vermont.

"TOPEKA, Kan. - Revisiting a topic that exposed Kansas to nationwide ridicule six years ago, the state Board of Education approved science standards for public schools Tuesday that cast doubt on the theory of evolution."

Okay, look. It's not that I'm hostile toward Christianity. Or any religion, really. But can we keep it out of science classes, please?

Obviously the answer is no. But I really don't see scientists pounding on church doors and saying, "Hey, excuse me, equal time." No. Science classes deal with hypotheses and data and actual provable figures. They do not deal with faith. I don't care if you believe in God, a Goddess, or a whole plethora of Deities. It doesn't belong there. Last I checked, there were still plenty of churches around, and religious books weren't banned. Go after that stuff on your own time.

Although, I'd really like to see how these people would react if a group of Muslims or Wiccans came up and said, "Hey, since you're allowing 'alternate theories' here, how about we teach your children about our ideas?" Do you think it would take more or less than ten seconds for the crap to hit the fan?

It's official. If I ever have kids, they're going to be homeschooled. Or at least get a lot of additional information from me.
changeyourstars8: (Default)
So I've been concentrating lately on notes/general plotline for an upcoming novel (that I'm not planning to write for quite some time, but when the plot bunnies attack . . . yeah). It involves religion, in a 'war between God and the Devil' kind of way, and some people I know, including my husband, are worried about me seriously offending people if I wade into this particular topic.

Which got me worried about offending people. I've never really dealt with it that much in my books before, and there's so much information out there, and what if I got something wrong, and yada yada much worrying about something I don't even have an outline on yet. ((not to mention the fact that this would be assuming 1) It's any good when it's finished, 2) Someone actually publishes the thing, 3) It sells beyond my family/friends. ;-)))

And then I realized . . . it'd be a fiction novel dealing with religious themes. Of course it'd irritate somebody! So instead of worrying about it, focus on making the futuristic world created in it as realistic as possible, make sure things stay plausible in the confines of that world, and have fun with it.

Speaking of fun, caught The Daily Show yesterday, when Bill O'Reilly was a guest. Hee.

Speaking of fun, Part 2, Cleolinda's Movies in Fifteen Minutes book is basically available . . . more information about it in her lj. :-)
changeyourstars8: (Default)
Well, I got some new elastic thread and tried making necklaces with that. Was going fine, the stuff looked pretty, I made a couple of bracelets, too-- and then I picked one of the necklaces up and the previously sturdy knot snapped and there went a bunch of beads all over the floor.

Imagine my language.

And none of the other knots held for long, by the way. I might just go with using embroidery thread or something. Or just sell the beads. ;-)

In other news, here's a conversation my mom and I had the other day:

Me: "Did you see that the new Pope started complaining about homosexual marriages again, calling them 'psuedomarriages'?"

Mom: *knowing that there's probably something profoundly sacreligious coming, and listening anyway, bless her* "No, I didn't see that."

Me: "Something I'm curious about. If someone were to infiltrate the candidates for Pope next time around, acting like they thought everything not 118% heterosexual was profane, etc., and then got elected Pope and went out onto the balcony and said, "Just kidding, I think gay marriage is a great idea!" would all Catholics basically have to change their viewpoints? The Papal infallibility thing?"

Mom: "I have no idea."

Me: "That is my new goal in life. I shall disguise myself as a man-- a very conservative man-- and then become Pope. And I will skip out onto the balcony in a big, rainbow-colored pointy hat."

Mom: "This is not my influence." (okay, she didn't say it, but I'm pretty sure she was thinking it)
changeyourstars8: (Default)
So, we've got a new Pope. Here's a quote from the CNN article about him:

"In the Vatican, he has been the driving force behind crackdowns on liberation theology, religious pluralism, challenges to traditional moral teachings on issues such as homosexuality, and dissent on such issues as women's ordination."

Wheeee. :-P

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